Private investigation companies play a critical role in many personal, business and legal situations. An individual may hire a private investigator if they need assistance with a missing person’s case or suspect that their spouse is cheating. A business may seek the services of a private investigation company regarding suspicions of fraud or employee theft. Law enforcement and government agencies may also use private investigation services during in-house investigations or when they lack specific resources or technical skills.
Licensed private investigators have the capability to effectively collect documents and other forms of evidence. However, not all private investigation companies have the same level of experience, knowledge or expertise. When choosing a private investigation company to assist with your situation, it is important to ask questions. Before deciding on a private investigation company, request a consultation and ask the following key questions.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A Private Investigation Company
Asking the correct questions before retaining a private investigation company will lead to a more successful arrangement. Some private investigation companies specialize in specific areas and may not be suited for the requested job. Asking sufficient questions prior to hiring a company will prevent misunderstandings and loss of valuable time.
Here are a few important questions that every client should ask a private investigation company before hiring:
How Long Have You Been A Private Investigator?
One of the most important questions to ask a private investigator is how long they have been a PI. Private investigators that are new to the field may have the required training but lack experience. Professional private investigators are licensed, although each state has varying licensing requirements. A private investigator should have his or her own insurance; an investigation company should also be insured. Ask to be shown proof of bond or insurance.
An experienced private investigator should be able to provide several references. These references should include past clients who can attest to the PIs professionalism, abilities and level of success. References can also provide insight about other important aspects of hiring a PI, such as frequency of communication and average length of investigations.
What Is Your Background?
Another important question to ask a private investigator is their area of expertise. While some private investigation companies cover multiple areas of private investigation, many investigators have backgrounds in specific areas. A private investigator may have worked as a police officer or have military experience, before becoming a PI; hands-on experience which could prove useful.
Also inquire about the private investigator’s training in investigative services. Proper training is essential to ensure that a PI is up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques. Through regular training, PIs are taught how to conduct proper surveillance, locate documents and gather evidence that may be used in court. Each case is handled differently based on the unique circumstances. Ask the private investigator how they would approach a particular case.
How Can You Guarantee Confidentiality?
Most private investigators will provide confidentiality; however, it is important to ask how they are able to provide confidentiality for safety and privacy purposes. In special circumstances, a private investigator may be bound by law to reveal certain details of a case to law enforcement or a judge.
Clients typically hire private investigators in private and do not want others to find out, especially the person being investigated. Private investigators use a variety of techniques to remain covert during investigations; however, if they are revealed, this may place the client’s anonymity at risk. Ask the private investigator what his or her standard operating procedures are if they get caught while investigating a person.
If Necessary, Will You Testify In Court?
A professional private investigator will serve as a reliable source of information in many types of court proceedings. If a PI is able to obtain certain documents or evidence that is admissible in court, the private investigator may be asked to testify in court; however, not all private investigators are willing to testify in court. If a client suspects that he or she may need a PI to testify in court based on the unique circumstances of the case, it is important to clarify at the start of the relationship whether they are willing to testify or not.
Speak To A Professional Private Investigation Company
There is a common misconception that all private investigation companies are the same. While many offer the same basic services, private investigators have varying degrees of experience and background training. To differentiate one PI from another, it is important to sit down with several candidates and ask the correct questions. Asking questions relating to experience, skills and services will help a client narrow their choices and make the best decision based on the information provided. For more information about private investigation services or to speak with a professional PI, contact the investigative experts at American Protection Group.